1.17

Thursday, the bowling alley, the explosion – how long ago was that?

Three days. Just three days and look at her. Her face was pallid and coated with a light sheen of fever sweat. Her hair was ratty and damp from the sweat and she smelled of sickness.

Travis and Johnny had been doing their best to take care of her, but there was only so much to be done when  you were avoiding first world medical services, any pace there might be cameras and most polite society. Two dead men on the run with an underage girl who didn’t exist on paper as far as they knew. That wouldn’t look good anywhere.

They’d had some trouble at first, integrating into the small community of vagrants living in the alleys and sewers of the city; a few fights, a few thefts – nothing too catastrophic. That ended relatively quickly. Both men had some rudimentary medical knowledge and extensive field craft experience which they paid for safety and discretion with.

But she wasn’t getting better.

Travis and Johnny had been arguing back and forth about what to do since she came down with the fever. How long before they were dead enough to show back up without being immediately killed again? Where could they take her? How long could they put off getting her treatment?


 

Datura sat on her perch above her three victims, watching them struggle. She was in a bind. She was enjoying their suffering, but also keeping them alive. Her whole life, everything had been taken from her. Her family, her friends, her life – gone. They took it all away and locked her up in a hole in the ground because she was too smart, because she made people misremember things. They wouldn’t take this. The spoiled little bitch wouldn’t die from some fever, a fucking accident. She belonged to Datura and if anything was going to kill Eluria, it would be her. Like the men, she’d been going back and forth with herself on just what the best course of action for the situation would be.

Everyone’s choice was made at once when Eluria began to convulse violently.

Travis saw it first and screamed to Johnny “She’s having a seizure, she’s having a seizure!”

Johnny rushed over and knelt beside the pair, asking what they should do.

Their medical knowledge was considerable when stacked up against your average layman, but they came by it honestly from their military backgrounds. Men didn’t typically have seizures in the middle of combat, it wasn’t exactly something they were well educated about.

Datura had made her decision – Eluria belonged to her and she wouldn’t be taken from her. She reached out with a tendril of thought and caressed Travis’ brain, spilling forth a cascading wave of memories his brain didn’t have use for. His mind was flooding with knowledge and competency. Nothing groundbreaking, but enough to get him through Eluria’s seizure.

“I just remembered – I saw a show about this or something. We need to get her onto her side so she won’t choke if she throws up.”

Johnny helped to roll Eluria from her back to her side, the muscles of her body violently contracting all the while, and held her held between his knee to steady her.

“No, don’t hold her in place, it might hurt her. We just need to let her ride it out. She’ll probably be okay, but if it lasts longer than three minutes we need to get her to a hospital as soon as possible.”

Travis and Johnny sat in silence, holding vigil over their charge, watching her agony as her body tried to shake itself apart, each with one eye on their watch.

When the seizure ended, Travis began to act on the last and most crucial piece of knowledge Datura had helped him to remember – the field extraction protocol for the Facility and its agents. It wasn’t something he would have known, having never actually worked in the field for the Facility. The protocol would have strictly been the purview of people like Mr. Bellmore, who Travis had never met or knew existed, but such was the benefit of Datura.

“I’ll be right back.” Travis told Johnny as he sprinted away toward the exit of the sewer. He  ended to find a CB radio and fast. He didn’t know how, but it had all clicked together for him. There was a coded message he needed to broadcast and he’d have help in minutes.


Travis and Johnny dragged Eluria out of the sewer and into the black SUV with the help of three security men from Facility 4. The coded message had worked. He was just going to have a hell of a time explaining how he knew it when they got back.


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